by Disney Magic Diva
Aloha! We’re just back from our visit to Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and I wanted to share with you my five favorite things about this vacation in paradise.
A trip to Aulani is very different from a trip to a Disney Park. For our family, when we visit a park we’re pretty much on the go from dawn to dusk, enjoying all the attractions, food, characters, and entertainment the parks have to offer. At Aulani, you can forget about all that.
1. It’s Relaxing!
My favorite thing about Aulani is that it’s relaxing! Of course, you CAN choose to have a calm vacation at a Disney Park. But when you’re at a park, the temptation to try to see and do it all is just so great. You’ve spent the money to travel there, so while staying at the resort is an option, it’s hard to justify skipping all the attractions and entertainment available at the parks. The result is often a hectic (albeit fun!) schedule that leaves you feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.
Aulani is different. It’s all about relaxing. There are no fastpasses to schedule, no rope drops, no staking out parade or firework views. Of course, you can still meet characters and enjoy the unparalleled Disney experience, but it’s a much slower and tranquil atmosphere. Not having a timetable to keep makes for a much more restful vacation.
2. The Beach
Aulani’s beachfront is simply stunning! Lounge chairs, umbrellas, and small tables are plentiful. If you’d like some privacy, you can even rent a casabella or cabana for the day. The white sand is deep, clean, and gorgeous. Cast members will come by and take your food or beverage order, so there’s not even a need to leave your little piece of paradise. Just relax, enjoy the view (we saw whales breaching one morning!), and soak up the sun!
Diva Tip: Disney has a separate wifi signal for the beach area. While at the beach, look for “Disney Lagoon” for a better wifi signal.
3. The Pools
If the sand isn’t for you, there are plenty of pools to enjoy at Aulani. The main family pool, Waikolohe Pool, is zero entry so even the littlest ones can enjoy it. There’s an afternoon pool party, similar to all Disney resort pools, but this one has an appearance by Mickey and Minnie! After their appearance at the Shake-A-Shaka pool party, Mickey and Minnie each held a meet and greet opportunity. Be sure to keep your autograph books handy if visiting the pool!
Diva Tip: If you’re a fan of the pool parties at Walt Disney World Resort, you know they occur every day. At Aulani, the party is only twice a week, so check your Daily Iwa (the resort newsletter with all activities for each day) and plan accordingly!
Probably the most popular water activity at Aulani is the Waikolohe Valley Stream. This lazy river seems longer than the one at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. There’s a volcano slide which is also very popular with all ages. You can take your tube down the slide and truly make a splash into the stream!
There are several whirlpools, some for families and some for adults only. There are also two infinity pool areas, one for families and another, which has two levels, for adults only. Both are unbelievably spectacular. I was amazed with how many separate whirlpools there were, each nestled in its own private spot.
For the kids, there’s also an incredible splash area by the Waikolohe Valley Stream as well as a smaller fountain type splash area by the family infinity pool if you’re looking for something a little calmer.
Finally, there’s an adult-only pool and pool bar quietly tucked in the corner of the resort. It was under refurbishment when we visited, but it looked like it would be a wonderful place if you’re looking for a quiet escape.
4. The Views
There’s a pathway along the beach which allows you to walk along the coast and explore. If you’d like to see the surf breaking on the rocks, head along the pathway. You can see up and down the coast for miles!
Don’t forget to spend some time just gazing out into the waves. We saw sailboats, ships, barges, and even a few whales! Closer to shore you may see seals or turtles.
Watching the sunset over the ocean was breathtaking. The sky changes from a deep blue to yellow, golden, purple, red, and every color in between. As twilight approaches, you’ll see families as well as couples head down to the beach, often dressed in their finest beach attire. You’ll also see Disney PhotoPass photographers head to the beach. Soon, everyone is lined-up, almost shoulder to shoulder, ready to capture the gorgeous sunset. What a perfect background for your family photo!
Diva Tip: For really beautiful views, head to the rocky point just to the left of the lagoon.
5. Dinner at AMA’AMA’
When we booked our trip, we were encouraged to book a sunset dinner at AMA’AMA’. We are SO glad we did! As a signature restaurant, it is a little pricey, so it may be better suited to just adults. Children, though, are very welcome – we saw several families during our dinner there. If you do decide to make it a date-night, Aunty’s Beach House, the kids’ club at Aulani, is conveniently right next door to AMA’AMA’.
We were pixie-dusted with a table right at the edge of the restaurant, with unobstructed, open-air views of the beach. Enjoying our meal while watching the sunset was an experience we’ll never forget. The food was delicious, the service impeccable, and the atmosphere extraordinary. Watch for a full review soon, but in the meantime, I would highly recommend a sunset dinner at AMA’AMA.
Our time at Aulani was like a dream come true. It was beautiful, relaxing, and a treasured memory. No one can deny a trip to a Disney park is wonderful and full of magical memories. But if you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, more like a cruise, think about Aulani. If you’d like to find out more or get a quote on your trip to paradise, Patricia at All for Dreams Travel would be happy to answer all your questions. Contact her today for a free quote!
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